Ultra-stretchable ionic nanocomposites: from dynamic bonding to multi-responsive behavior†
Although multi-responsive materials have the potential to revolutionize a wide spectrum of technologies, the design of systems that combine a range of responses to a variety of different external changes without the associated property trade-offs has remained elusive. We herein demonstrate a new family of multi-responsive nanocomposites that leverage the dynamic and reversible nature of electrostatic interactions present in ionic systems with the reinforcement ability of nanoparticles in nanocomposites. This new design leads to a unique property profile that combines simultaneous improvements in stiffness, toughness and extensibility. In addition to their exceptional stretchability, the new, ionic nanocomposites exhibit unique strain-dependent behavior (i.e. the deformation increases with increasing strain rates) and return to the normal state after deformation including shape-memory and scratch recovery.